Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel Review

January 12, 2019


I just came back from my first visit to Aomori Prefecture, in TOHOKU Area. During winter seasons in Japan, people would think of Hokkaido, and maybe Nagano. BUT, do you know that the northern part of Japan, in between Tokyo and Hokkaido, is a winter wonderland as well? That's Tohoku area, and in fact, Aomori is pretty close to Hokkaido since you can hop on a train to board to Shin-Hakodate

I was browsing some places that offer fantastic view that's not over populated with tourist, and Oirase area in Aomori blew me away. Once I saw the hotel with the winter view, I quickly arranged my itinerary and booked my shinkansen for this amazing hotel. The hotel's under Hoshino Resorts and the name is OIRASE KEIRYU HOTEL

LOBBY

Once you step into the hotel, you'll be welcomed by an amazing lobby with a three-dimensional sculpture that's known for its 7 nymphs that represent a female god, the river God. This work was done by a famous artist named Taro Okamoto. The check in would be done at this lobby before proceeding to your room


During winter, you can see a breathtaking winter wonderland scenery from the lobby, and they have a self-service counter of all you can drink coffee or tea for hotel guests as well. You can sit here and talk with your companion both day and night as they offer a different mood. At night, they will light up the park and make it romantic



ROOM

There are a lot of types of rooms offered by Oirase Keiryu Hotel, and I got one with private onsen! This is really a good type of room if you want some privacy for your onsen experience, or if you want to take pictures. For me, my reason is the later :D

It's pretty spacious and what's amazing is they come with electric foot massager! 


We can change to the yukata provided by the hotel and wear it everywhere as long as it's in hotel's area


Welcome snack!

 

You can simply drink some warm drinks while snacking Aomori snacks while overlooking the beautiful scenery from your living room


The bathroom is transparent which might be good for couples or honeymoon moment but if you want some privacy, you can pull down the cover!


Even though the bedroom and living room areas are pretty modern in style, the bathroom has traditional Japanese feeling with the wooden tub and a lot of brown shades. And I think this is one of the most instagenic bathroom I have ever had so far in Japan. Dipping in the hot onsen with million dollar winter scenery can never get better

 

And yes. that's a big pile of ice right in front of my window, and it is REAL

ROOM VIEW


You can go out of the balcony to enjoy the full scenery of the frozen mountain and river right from your room. But since it's freezing, make sure to wear the room slipper or shoes



Best time for winter in Tohoku to get this kind of view is from January to February! The snow would be thick and powdery, and when I was there in early January, the temperature would be around -5' C

MORI NO SHIWA LOUNGE


Located on the east side of the buildings, Mori no Shiwa is another lounge area for lunch, tea or coffee break, or bar. Unlike the West Lobby where it's a free area, in this lounge, you have to buy something to enjoy the lounge but I tell you it's so worth it


The center of the lounge bronze structure by Taro Okamoto is the main point of this area, and at night they will lit up the park as well to make it romantic. I love how they incorporate big window and high ceiling to make the guests able to see the beautiful sceneries in front of them while enjoying a cup of coffee


On the first day, I tried their signature coffee that's made from the natural Aomori water. What I love about staying at any Hoshino Resorts properties are they try to incorporate a lot of local ingredients on their foods and drinks 


It was a quiet and peaceful time at the lounge, just simply watching the snow falling and chatting


TEA TIME


Besides just a normal coffee or tea, I recommend you to try their dessert selections as well. Most popular and MY Favorite is their Apple Mille Feuille that's limited to only 10 servings per day. They use Aomori apple that's baked to get a crunchy texture and they layer it with crackers that are baked 2 times. On top of that, they also put some fresh apple jam and apple chips. It's pretty pricey at 1300 yen per plate but it's probably the best Apple Mille-Feuille I have ever had, but again, how many stores offer this kind of dessert? When you're in here, you just HAVE to try it. My tip is to come early morning


I also tried their Maple Cheesecake and though I am not a fan of cheesecake, the maple brings out a sweet flavor and aroma and I really love it. If you can't get the Apple Mille Feuille, get this Maple Cheesecake because it's as good! I also had their dark chocolate cake which has a pretty rich taste and a good option if you're not a fan of sweets because it has pretty adult taste


Taste and presentation wise, it's amazing!
At night you can also come over to have some alcohol since it's turned to bar. I tried their Apple Salty Dog Cocktail which was recommended by the staff and it's really good! 


AOMORI RINGO KITCHEN


I guess everyone knows by now that Aomori is famous for its apples, and we've been presented with so many apples here and there, BUT, yes the restaurant's name is Aomori Ringo Kitchen. Ringo means Apple. And for a good reason, they use a lot of apples!


The entrance area is filled with nothing but apples


The dinner and breakfast are buffet style, and in fact, there's another kaiseki restaurant but it was closed for renovation during the time I visited it. The hotel has 187 rooms and of course the restaurant is big enough to accommodate the people. The hotel is located really far in the deep mountain area, so there's no choice to eat anywhere besides at this hotel. Make sure to book your dinner and breakfast because the buffet is really special too! 


The design of the restaurant is pretty cute. Do you realize that the lamp is an apple shape?


I can't possibly take pictures of every food there because there is A LOT of type of meals provided for both dinner and breakfast. But it's so interesting because they integrate a lot of apples to their foods. Such as apple salad, apple pickles, apple mochi, chicken cream with apples, and so on!


There's also an oyster and roast beef section during the dinner!

 

They have a lot of amazing desserts but my favorite is their apple pie with ice cream, it's piping hot and crunchy, and you can find Aomori apple inside it! It's only available during dinner time, but on breakfast, get yourself the apple pancake instead. It's my first time eating pancake at a hotel's buffet that's not soggy but instead a little bit crunchy outside and fluffy inside!! 


My dinner and breakfast!! They have both japanese and western cuisine but I chose to eat japanese version since I love japanese cuisine more. They have a wide selections of fresh sashimi and my favorite during dinner is their minced tuna, and on breakfast is their ikura!
You can get as much as you want of their fresh sashimis and top it on top of the rice to make your own kaisendon! PURE HAPPINESS!


On my second night staying there, the buffet is the same but the staff provides extra dishes for guests who are staying on consecutive nights. We got fresh Aomori ichigos and some sashimi of botan shrimp and uni! It's such a luxury considering we only chose for a buffet but being gifted with kaiseki meal's standard!

ONSEN

 

Staying in a resort or ryokan or a hotel in Japan will not be complete without the experience of onsen. So I recommend you to try their public onsen even though you might have your private onsen. They have both indoor and outdoor onsen and if you come during winter, there's a special view waiting for you on their outdoor onsen


Their outdoor onsen is my top 3 reasons of staying in this hotel. Simply because it is THE WORLD'S FIRST onsen that's surrounded by a frozen waterfall! You can also see the superb view of Oirase Mountain Stream from the outdoor onsen. Both day and night onsen experience will leave you breathless because of it's fantastic sight


It's a priceless experience that you can only get during winter in this hotel, and it's worth your time to go all the way up to Aomori for this experience!!! 
All the onsen pictures here are taken under the hotel's permission when the onsen's closed for public


ACTIVITIES

Oirase Keiryu Hotel has a lot of activities both day and night so you won't run out of things to do while you're staying here. They have both paid and free activities ranging from 1 hour to a few hours. I signed up for a Mt. Hakkoda Tour as it's a famous winter spot in Aomori but I missed it because I w

FROZEN WATERFALL NIGHT TOUR


The first activity that I would like to introduce is the Frozen Waterfall Night Tour and you can rent the winter jacket for free from the lobby. The tour lasts for 1 hour and we visit a few different spots 


It's pretty difficult to take the pictures of the night tour because it's so dark, and the only lights that we had were the bus lights and the night light brought by the staff to lighten up the spot. It was really beautiful and something that you can appreciate better in real life compared than pictures!
Also, they handed us free warm apple juice which is really nice to drink it in the middle of the cold weather!

OIRASE GUIDED TOUR


This is the guided tour following Oirase Stream to visit 3 different spots during the day. I wrote a separate blog post about it so make sure to click the title to read about it



It was my first time walking on snow with the shoe and in fact, I didn't know it even existed back then! Being an Indonesian, this activity is really fun for me! I wrote a separate blog post about this experience including what I wore to combat the weather, so click the title to be directed to the post!


HOW TO GET HERE 

There's an easy explanation of how to access this hotel on their website, so I use their image to show you how to get here. Since I live in Tokyo, I took a shinkansen all the way to Hachinohe Station before departing to the hotel with their free shuttle bus. The hotel only operates Shuttle Bus once a day for the hotel guests but it's exactly the right timing with the shinkansen from Tokyo with your check-in time

Below is my schedule for going to Oirase Keiryu Hotel

10:20 Dept. from JR Tokyo St. → 13:04 Arr. at JR Hachinohe St. → 13:30 Dept. by Free Shuttle bus to Oirase Keiryu Hotel → 14:40 Arr. at the hotel
 Or you can email them and ask for the recommended itinerary, they have amazing English speaking staffs that are able to assist you in creating a perfect holiday


It was definitely a memorable winter trip for me and I am happy to choose this hotel sa my holiday destination in the winter. In fact, it's my first holiday in 2019 and if it's this good already, the hurdle will be higher for the next stay lol

It's definitely a long way to go to Oirase from Tokyo, let alone from any other countries. But if you want to enjoy a different kind of winter holiday while you're in Japan, maybe you can check their website and bookmark it for future hotel reference! The room rate varies depending on the type of the room, and the season. But it starts from around 10.000 yen for the standard room, and I think it's pretty affordable once you split it with your friend



Definitely will miss taking a bath with this kind of scenery. Until then again, Aomori!

You Might Also Like

0 comments